Violet’s first egg!
September 7, 2014, 7:46 pm
Filed under: chickens | Tags: , , , , ,
Violet inspecting her handiwork

Violet inspecting her handiwork

Wow. Hurray! September 7 Violet laid her first egg. I almost didn’t notice it in the nest box, but there it was. So tiny and so perfect. Good job Violet!

She's got some big shoes to fill.

She’s got some big shoes to fill.

It was hard to capture just how small it is. Violet herself is pretty small. She almost seems like a bantam. But her comb was nice and red.

pretty violet

pretty violet

And the other chickens looked so jealous.

Goodge, and Daisy looking jealous

Goodge, and Daisy looking jealous

Perhaps Violet was annoyed that I didn’t notice earlier. She was making a racket today. I was outside moving a bunch of things near the garage. She jumped up on a table I was standing next to, and then launched herself right onto my shoulder. While I was trying to get her down, she walked around the back of my neck and pecked my eye. Yep, that’s right, I got pecked in the eye by the crazy thing. It was so fast–I reacted but she did get me somehow, and the reaction was so quick that the contact popped right out of my eye. Sheesh. Gross story I know. I can’t think about it too much. She’s a real character that Violet.


bumblefoot, chicken dilemma
June 22, 2012, 9:21 am
Filed under: bubbles, chickens | Tags: , ,

I’ve noticed the telltale black spots on the bottom of Bubbles feet. She has them on both feet, and they’re a bit smaller than the end of a pencil. Poor chum. We took her to the vet. It’s a staph infection and you need to deeply excise the kernel of the infection or it won’t heal. I wanted to get a second opinion. Here’s the opinion:

Bubbles rocking the vetwrap!

She has it in both feet, but one is worse than the other. The vet excised and wrapped it and left us with a bunch of lotions potions and antibiotics. Poor Bubbles. She’s a trooper though, and while most chickens would need to be isolated so they wouldn’t be attacked by other chickens, I have a feeling that for Bubbles, the wrap was an extra sign of her chicken dominance and all the other chickens now want one.

We did our first treatment this morning. Sheesh it’s kind of hard! It doesn’t look very good, I’m hoping we can bring the swelling down. It’s red and puffy and doesn’t look good.

in for assessment

first, a disinfecting soak

After the soak, we put a little potion on it, then re-wrap with gauze and vetwrap. I bought the human kind this time.

new wrap. pretty hard to do. guess it’ll get easier with time.

chickens in the factory, climate change edition

Have you hugged your power plant today?

I just can’t stop thinking about a story I heard a few weeks back. 50,000 chickens/4300 turkeys die in separate cases of power outages (one in NC and one in Kansas). Get this, 50,000 chickens died after the power was out for 45 minutes. Less than an hour. 45 minutes between life and death. How horrifying. And it took the folks 26 hours to bury all those turkeys.

Apparently our food system is just this fragile. The birds are jammed in there, it’s hot and needs ventilation even if it’s not 100 degrees outside. A quick google search shows that this is not an isolated incident.

July 2011: Minnesota, reporting nearly 50,000 turkeys died in the heat.
September 2010: 60,000 chickens die in North Carolina. A generator powering fans in the chicken houses quit working.

And Meat & Poultry report that nearly 100,000 broilers have been reported lost to the heat wave in July. In the northern areas, barns don’t have great ventilation systems. Some grow sheds have 20,000 birds in them!

So while some of the farms have back up generators to power the fans, any interruption of the power supply can lead to major losses. Hard to believe that less than an hour is all is takes to do it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about climate change, and while plans suggest that cows will produce less milk in climate change models, I didn’t connect the dots to see that for factory farms, there will be a much increased reliance on a stable power supply. Spooky side effects of factory farming people! Spooky. And really, just a big waste for a pile of unnoticed, unmemorable, tasteless drug-laden,  protein nuggets.

Birds have feelings..
May 5, 2011, 9:01 am
Filed under: bubbles, chickens, edwina, knuckles, liz | Tags: , , , ,

Thanks, some dude at Bristol, for doing a study about chicken’s feelings. Anyone who owns chickens can attest to the fact that not only do they feel empathy, but they feel annoyance, anticipation, etc etc.

Yesterday, for instance, I heard annoyance–poor knuckles got kicked out the nest box so that bubbles (the not so empathetic chicken) could have a go. Poor knuckles stood at the coop door broadcasting her displeasure to all in the turdacres domain. I’ve heard Liz make these distinctive (and screamingly loud) repetitive bu-gahs, and lately have seen a pushed out Edwina do them, and now Knuckles. Is it, oh my god hurry up! i need the nest box!! hurry up! There is definitely a chicken language. I wonder who’s studying that?

my sweet little knuckles
October 18, 2010, 11:16 am
Filed under: chickens, knuckles | Tags: , ,

One of the sweetest chickens is Knuckles. Here she is in her fall 2010 photo shoot. She’s the least molty looking of all of the chickens. She look good!


thinking deep thoughts

she's so cute!

The Knuckles personality: She’s very inquisitive about the potential for snacks. She’ll be the first to jump on the lap to check it out. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, never see her attacking anyone. She jumped into the goat pen once. And got completely freaked out by the experience. The goats had her running up and down poor thing. She’s a bit wary still of coming out to the fenced garden because of that I think.

good news for california chickens!
July 9, 2010, 1:54 pm
Filed under: chickens, food issues | Tags: , ,

The big man Arnold signed a bill about chicken welfare this week! Chickens will be provided with enough space to spread their wings and turn around. Exact specifications have not yet been determined, but the more good news is that he also required that any eggs imported into California must meet this new housing standard. Thanks Arnold!! This is a step in the right direction. See here for more info.

liz laid an egg!
April 18, 2010, 8:49 pm
Filed under: chickens, liz | Tags: , ,

Chickens were out running about doing their chicken business. I was in the garden. When I came back to the gate at the end of the day, I nearly stepped on this–

when you gotta lay you gotta lay

it looks like an egg

it's a translucent jelly egg

Good girl Liz! Her usual productions have no membrane at all, just the white and the yolk. Don’t know if this means she’s getting closer to figuring it out. She’s laid one or two before that had some type of membrane, but this is the first one I’ve seen that actually held together sort of. Kind of neat to see how translucent it was. Yuck!